Usually this virus attacks the body when it is recovering from the rash and blisters associated with shingles. Due to this virus, the body does not heal properly from the disease and even with the blisters gone, the pain persists. This complication of shingles is given the medical name of Postherpetic Neuralgia.
It is an incurable disorder of the skin and nerves that mostly affects people who are over 60 years of age. Moreover, you will be more at risk of developing this disorder if you have shingles on your face rather than other parts of your body. Even though Postherpetic Neuralgia cannot be cured, the pain felt by the patient can be reduced through the use of the following treatment methods.
Anticonvulsants are considered an effective treatment for controlling the pain suffered by the patients of Postherpetic Neuralgia. These drugs target the abnormal activity taking place in the patient’s nervous system and stabilize it.
This way the pain caused by the damaged nerves becomes less profound and the patient feels a lot relaxed and pain-free. The common anticonvulsants that are usually prescribed by doctors to the Postherpetic Neuralgia patients are Gabapentin and Pregabalin.
Antidepressants have also been found to be excellent for treating the pain associated with Postherpetic Neuralgia. The medications are prescribed by Los Angeles Pain Management Doctors for influencing the body’s interpretation of pain by affecting the chemicals present in the brain that govern this function.
The antidepressants that are usually used for minimizing the pain caused by Postherpetic Neuralgia are Amitriptyline, Nontriptyline and Desipramine. The dose of these drugs however is kept very low to avoid their side-effects.
If the use of anticonvulsants and antidepressants fails to curb the pain suffered by a patient of Postherpetic Neuralgia then the Pain Management Doctors in Los Angeles are forced to give opioid painkillers for managing the pain.
These painkillers tend to be avoided for the long term because of their addictive nature and potentially hazardous side effects. However, if given in low doses, these painkillers can reduce the pain and burning sensation felt by the patient.
Sometimes the use of topical treatment methods like Lidocaine patches and creams containing capsaicin is also advised by Pain Clinics in Los Angeles for keeping a lid on the pain. The Lidocaine patches have Lidocaine present in them which is an anesthetic. It can help in reducing the pain at specific areas by making the skin numb.
The creams with capsaicin present in them in high quantities are also great pain reducers but they can cause skin burns in some people. If the patient is able to tolerate this burning sensation then they can make use of this cream to remain pain free for quite a while with each application.
Pain doctors in Los Angeles can treat postherpetic neuralgia with epidural injections to obtain relief. These can work very well to decrease the burning pain of shingles and postherpetic neuralgia.
In addition, if the pain simply will not go away, then a spinal cord stimulator may be indicated. There really is no surgical indication for treating the neuralgia, so masking the pain with a spinal cord stimulator may be a great option.
All of these treatment methods can prove to be quite effective in treating the pain caused by Postherpetic Neuralgia. However, a combination of these treatments can result in the attainment of maximum effectiveness.
The California Pain Network offers over 20 doctors at 20 locations who can help treat postherpetic neuralgia. Treatments span medication management and interventional procedures, with over 50 different insurance plans being accepted.
Call (310) 626-1526 for more information and scheduling today!